Section 3 - Yudhishthira's Journey to Heaven: Devotion to the End

| Posted in: Hinduism Itihasa

Book index: Mahabharata (English)
This page contains a summary of the Mahabharata Section 3 including examples of moral lessons in daily life. The Maha-Bharata is one of the largest epics ever written containing roughly 100,000 Sanskrit verses. It deals with the legendary history of ancient India and contains a large number of interwoven tales.

Short summary of the chapter:
Yudhishthira, along with his brothers and Draupadi, is approached by the deity Shakra to ascend a car to Heaven. Yudhishthira expresses his desire to bring his fallen brothers and Draupadi with him, as well as a devoted dog that has accompanied him. Shakra advises Yudhishthira to abandon the dog in order to attain the rewards of Heaven, but Yudhishthira refuses, citing his principles of compassion and loyalty to those who seek his protection.

Yudhishthira's refusal to abandon the dog leads to the revelation that the dog is actually the deity of Righteousness. Impressed by Yudhishthira's compassion and integrity, the deity praises him for his actions and assures him of his rightful place in Heaven. Yudhishthira, Dharma, Shakra, and other deities then ascend to Heaven on a celestial car, with Narada praising Yudhishthira's unparalleled achievements and virtues.

In Heaven, Yudhishthira expresses his desire to be reunited with his brothers and Draupadi, rejecting the luxurious surroundings of Heaven. Despite being offered a place of great success and happiness, Yudhishthira remains steadfast in his love for his family and wishes to be with them. Shakra commends Yudhishthira for his devotion to his loved ones and guides him to the realms where his brothers and Draupadi have gone.

Yudhishthira's unwavering love for his family and his adherence to righteous behavior throughout the journey to Heaven showcase his noble character and moral principles. His humility and compassion, even in the face of heavenly rewards, emphasize his true values and priorities. Ultimately, Yudhishthira's selflessness and loyalty to his loved ones earn him a place of honor in Heaven, where he is reunited with his brothers and Draupadi in eternal bliss.

Full English translation:

This page is merely a summary which is automatically generated. If you are looking for authentic sources such as the Sanskrit text or the Full English translation of Mahabharata Section 3 - Yudhishthira's Journey to Heaven: Devotion to the End, have a look at the following articles:

Section 3, online text

English translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli.

Read this and other chapters online.

Mahabharata (English Summary)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | 31,635 words | ISBN-10: 8121505933

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FAQ of Mahabharata, Section 3:


Can a dog go to Heaven according to Hindu mythology? In this story from the Mahabharata, a dog is revealed to be the deity of Righteousness, implying that animals can attain Heaven. What was Yudhishthira's moral dilemma about the dog? Yudhishthira faced a moral dilemma of choosing between his own happiness and abandoning a devoted dog, ultimately choosing compassion over personal gain. Why did Yudhishthira choose not to abandon the dog? Yudhishthira believed that abandoning a devoted being, whether human or animal, was extremely sinful and against his vow to protect those in need.

Daily life: Yudhishthira's Journey to Heaven: Devotion to the End:

The story from the Mahaprasthanika Parva of the Mahabharata provides profound insights about integrity, loyalty, compassion, and righteousness, offering valuable lessons for daily life. Yudhishthira's refusal to abandon his devoted dog for the allure of heavenly rewards underscores the importance of steadfast loyalty and the moral duty toward all beings, teaching us to prioritize compassion and loyalty over personal gain or societal expectations. His actions remind us that real success and honor lie not in what we acquire but in remaining true to our principles, especially when faced with difficult choices.

Implementing this into daily life means embracing empathy and steadfastness in our relationships and actions. It involves making decisions that reflect our values, even when doing so might seem to come at a personal cost. By exemplifying Yudhishthira’s commitment to non-abandonment, we learn the significance of supporting those who rely on us, be they friends, family, or even animals, reinforcing the idea that integrity should never be compromised.

Furthermore, the story illustrates the power of righteous conduct and how it ultimately yields the highest rewards, both in reputation and in moral fulfillment. In practical terms, living by these lessons means creating a life marked by kindness, where the welfare of others is considered as important as our own, guiding us to act with compassion and moral integrity in varied situations.

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